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Presentation of project to rebuild the

Old Bridge in Mostar

 by Project Coordination Unit for the Construction of the Old Bridge in Mostar



           The presentation was held in the premises of the Turkish Cultural Centre in Sarajevo, July 1 2003, by Rusmir Čišić, Executive Director of PCU Mostar; Tihomir Rozić, deputy Director; Snježana Hadžić, civil engineer with the  Turkish company Erbu; Prof. Dr. Željko Peković, chief supervisory engineer for the building of the Old Bridge and towers from Omega Engineering, Dubrovnika.   As well as the Commission members and Secretariat staff, the presentation was attended by Sabira Husedžinović, cultural heritage adviser in the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sport; Muhamed Hamidović, dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Sarajevo; Munib Buljina, Executive Director of the Cantonal Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Sarajevo; Nermina Mujezinović, qualified staff member of the Cantonal Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Sarajevo; M. Selim Kartal, Consul General of the Republic of Turkey in Mostar; and Ambassador Vadim Kuznetsov, Deputy High Representative and senior adviser.


 The Commission chair said that, consistent with the Commission's duty to monitor the implementation of its decisions to designate properties as national monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Commission had invited the Project Coordination Unit for the construction of the Old Bridge in Mostar to present all the facts relating to the reconstruction of the Old Bridge.  She also noted that the Federal Minister of Regional Planning and his associates had been invited to the presentation but the Commission had received notification that they would not attend because the reconstruction of the Old Bridge had begun before approval to rehabilitate it had been issued.


Rusmir Čišić introduced the general elements of the project, noting that the World Bank had made a loan available to the City of Mostar on very favorable terms amounting to US$ 4,000,000.00 and that the WB was coordinating the financial aspects of the project.  Funds had also been provided by the  Republic of Turkey – US$ 1,000,000.00; the Republic of Italy – US$ 3,000,000.00; the Netherlands –US$ 2,000,000.00; the Republic of Croatia – US$ 500,000.00; the European Development Bank – US$ 1,000,000.00; the City of Mostar – US$ 2,000,000.00 through the monthly situation. So far the sum of US$ 13,500,000.00 has been secured, whereas the project as a whole is estimated to cost US$ 15,500,000.00.   In addition to the reconstruction of the Old Bridge, surrounding buildings in the historic heart of Mostar are also being renovated – various shops, mills, infrastructure, regulation, the construction of the Tare and Halebije towers, five buildings between the bridge and the towers and three buildings, one from each of the country's peoples – the Napredak building (Croat), the Vakuf Palace (Bosniac) and the Bishop's Palace (Orthodox) – a total of 22 projects.  The
Aga Khan Foundation with the World Monuments Fund are also involved in the renovation of surrounding buildings and the training of young architects, and have provided not only design project documentation but also funds for renovation.  UNESCO is responsible for the technical aspects of the project through an experts' team consisting of ten experts and their representatives who attended weekly technical meetings.  The works are proceeding according to the planned timelines, except that the contractors to carry out works on the towers and the five buildings between the bridge and the towers have not yet been appointed, which could lead to delays for the project as a whole.  The planned completion date is
31 December 2003.


Tihomir Rozić spoke about the research, design and contractual works that had to be done.  On 01.11.1990 a contract was entered into for a geological study of the embankment walls and a pathological analysis of the Old Bridge. The works were carried out by Conex company, Zagreb, and Yeratli Aramacilik.  Based on these works, last year the foundations of the Old Bridge were made good.  General Engineering, a Florence-based firm, drew up the design project for the reconstruction of the Old Bridge.  LGA, a Nuremberg firm, conducted a detailed study of the building materials used in building the original bridge.  The design project for the renovation of the Tare and Halebije towers and five buildings between the bridge and the towers was drawn up by Omega Engineering of Dubrovnik.  Approval is still awaited from the World Bank for the appointment of contractor for this part of the works, which will lead to delays since it has made it impossible to lay cobbles on both sides, and this in turn will give rise to delays for the entire project.  Documentation is being prepared for the renovation of buildings belonging to the three peoples.  The fortieth course of stones is currently being laid on the Old Bridge, of a total of 111 courses, and the final laying of stones is planned to take place between 15.08 and 01.09.2003.


              Snježana Hadžić spoke about the drafting of the documentation for the reconstruction of the Old Bridge to World Bank international standards, drawing up the technical specifications and bill of quantities for the works, the project for the organization of the building site, the study on safety at work, the programme for the environmental protection of the area (particularly when carrying out injection works), the daily, weekly and monthly timelines, a description of work methods and a list of the personnel engaged on the project.  In addition, projects for the erection of scaffolding, of a concrete bridge across the Radobolje river, and other temporary structures have also been drawn up.


               Željko Peković gave a chronological presentation of the works carried out on the reconstruction of the Old Bridge, and showed details of the metal joints of the bridge structure carried out by General Engineering to the working design produced by Erbu.


                Representatives of PCU Mostar responded to questions relating to the content of the mortar (lime mortar with added ground brick to withstand high stress levels, and also hydro insulating red mortar with added bauxite), the length of time for bedding the lime (2 years), and the hydraulic characteristics of the lime, the granulation of the sand, the treatment of the stone, the technology of building the bridge (the same methods and materials as when the original bridge was built), the organization of the building site, the reasons for not using the existing building stone (the length of time it lay on the river bed has led to physical and chemical changes to its structure), an analysis of the old stone (the specific hardness of the stone in the bridge is greater than that of newly-quarried stone, since it increases in hardness with time, but cracks have appeared in the old stone as a result of the iron it contains, so that old stone will be used only for the parts of the bridge that are not structurally essential), bonding the stones in the arch of the bridge (the stone is reinforced in the stress area), reinforcing the lateral elements with appropriate infill (the infill had no structural function and the spaces were even left empty).



















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